Student Stories

When children spend their primary school years in classrooms with students of varying ages, the wonder of education unfolds between mentors and mentees. Our K/1 teachers love to share a story about an exemplary first-grader who really stepped up as a teacher and a leader.

Sound it Out

From that moment on, the young man was more than a “big brother,” he was a teacher and a leader who students in the class could rely upon. Not to give them answers, but to empower them find the answers.

From the first day of school, a kindergartner looked up to her first-grade class-mate, and whether in the classroom or on the playground, she almost always had at least one eye on his whereabouts. As it happens, both students were only children, so they took on a big brother/little-sister relationship at school—it was like having a sibling without any of the rivalry.

While the teacher was circulating in the classroom during writing workshop one day, she overheard the little girl ask him how to spell a word. He thought for a moment and said, “I’m not going to tell you how to spell it, but I’m going to help you sound it out.”

He walked with her across the classroom and they approached the sound chart, and sound-by-sound, he coached her as she answered her own question.

From that moment on, the young man was more than a “big brother,” he was a teacher and a leader who students in the class could rely upon. Not to give them answers, but to empower them find the answers.

This is one example of the many ways Aurora students practice to lead, because the responsibility to do so falls on everyone. It’s also the wonder of a multi-age classroom that sets up opportunities like these for students, every single day of their elementary school years.

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